Alexandria, VA

At one second after midnight on Friday, April 10, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson bought the first legal mixed beverage for carryout from an establishment in Virginia.

The $30 sale of “Wilson’s Rum Runner” with two pulled pork sandwiches was transacted at Pork Barrel BBQ in Del Ray at 12:00:01 a.m.

“Virginia has long had overly restrictive laws on alcohol,” Wilson declared after the purchase. “While it took a crisis to experiment, if this works, I’m hopeful this can be permanent.”

Bill Blackburn, co-owner of the Homegrown Restaurant Group, said that his Pork Barrel BBQThe Sushi BarHoly Cow Del RaySweet Fire Donna’s and Tequila & Taco locations will soon be releasing drink menus.

“We’re going to be selling a 32-ounce sealed cocktail container with different cocktails, and we’re going to start with Wilson’s Rum Runner, since the mayor worked to make this happen in Virginia,” Blackburn said. “We named it in honor of our mayor who helped push this forward, and we know he likes sweet fruity drinks. This is a 32 ounce to-go beverage in a sealed container served with a meal that you can take home and pour over ice and enjoy.”

Blackburn added, “We’re probably also gonna do a mango Margarita, and I ordered a whole bunch of fifths of Tito’s and ginger beer. So, I’m just going to sell kits so you can make your own Moscow Mule. We’re also thinking about selling little flasks of Jim Beam and a six pack of PBR and calling the package ‘The Dad Bod.'”

Governor Northam directed the Virginia ABC on Wednesday to allow businesses with mixed beverage licenses to sell mixed drinks for carryout and delivery. Wilson and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney wrote Northam letters asking for the easing of the restrictions.

“I think we made the case and it wasn’t just us,” Wilson said. “It was other communities around Virginia, and it was a lot of the restaurants who really made the case to the governor, to the ABC board members, that that this was something that could help keep the businesses afloat during a really really difficult time.”

If you’re wondering where to pick up your mixed drinks, yesterday, Visit Alexandria launched their Cocktails To-Go page in its new ALX at Home site, which shows restaurant locations and special offers.

As previously reported, Virginia ABC issued the following guidance on restaurants selling mixed drinks to go:

In order to maintain public safety, there will be restrictions placed on the service of mixed beverages in this fashion. Below are the highlights of the temporary regulation adjustment.

  • Distillery licensees are limited to a maximum of two mixed drinks per delivery or takeout order that contain 1½ ounces or less of spirits per drink.
  • Mixed beverage restaurants and limited mixed beverage restaurants are limited to four cocktails for each delivery or take out sale. Each order for delivery or takeout of cocktails must include a meal for every two cocktails purchased.
  • Cocktails shall be packaged in a glass, paper or plastic container (or similar disposable container) or in a single original metal can with a secure lid or cap designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap (lids with sipping holes or openings for straws are prohibited).
  • All recipients of delivery orders must be at least 21 years of age.

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